Palmistry is another word for hand analysis. According to this art, or perhaps even science, the shape, contours and lines of a hand are indicators of character traits, health, intelligence and creative abilities. It is believed that the ancient Chinese were studying hands as far back as 3000 BC. Around the same time Aryan sages developed the science of hand analysis (which they calles Hast Samudrika Shastra). Hand analysis was also studied by the ancient Chaldeans, Tibetans, Sumerians and Babylonians, as well as the early Hebrews, Egyptians and Persians.
The Greeks called hand analysis chirosophy, from xeiros, hand, and sophia, wisdom. Aristotle is credited with several treatises on hands, in one of which he writes:

The lines are not written into the human hands without reason, they come from heavenly influences and man's own individuality.
De coelo et mundi causa

The Bible also offers lots of references to the human hand and its significance, like in Job 37:7 and in Poverbs 3:16.

So how do the lines and shape of your hand have anything to do with your character? As our basic instrument of touch, the hand plays a very important role in conditioning the brain, body and emotions to develop certain responses to the world around us. Apart from that, hands can also reveal aspects of health, emotional stability and development of talents.
The lines of the hand can change (and do change in the course of a lifetime). Many people who do not believe that hand lines can tell something about themselves, say that the lines develop as a result of the moving of your hands. That this certainly not the only cause you can easily prove for yourself: try to find a hand movement for every line there is in your palm. I know I can't do it, there are several lines that do not seem to correspond to any natural movement my hand is capable of making.

Hand analysis looks at the size, shape and flexibility of the hand, the shape and length of the fingers, the texture of the skin, the shape and colour of the nails, the size and colour of the so-called mounds and at the lines in the palm. In a hand redaing it's important to realize that there is a difference between the dominant and the non-dominant or passive hand. Generally speaking, the dominant hand is the hand one writes with.
The passive hand reflects the past and the innate potential of what a person can be and do. The dominant, or active, hand shows mainly what that person is doing with his or her life at the moment. When someone is ambidextrous, both hands should be observed together and questions should be asked to find out which hand is the dominant one.

Psychological hand types

Pal`mis*try (?), n.[See Palmister.]


The art or practice of divining or telling fortunes, or of judging of character, by the lines and marks in the palm of the hand; chiromancy.

Ascham. Cowper.


A dexterous use or trick of the hand.



© Webster 1913.

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